Department of Mobility and Migration

Department of Mobility and Migration

The recent decades have witnessed a massive increase in movement across local, regional, national, and global space. People have been migrating in response to political and economic restructuring, social and military conflicts, and environmental crises. Mobility in general has been promoted by improved communication, infrastructure, and transportation technologies. Non-humans, whether animate or inanimate, material or symbolic, also play a significant role in creating and maintaining connections across space and time.

Researchers from the Department of Mobility and Migration study various forms of movement. As subjects of study, mobility and migration are phenomena that require attention in their own right. They are also phenomena that can serve as metaphors or, indeed, metonymies of the emerging and unprecedent global change. The general aim of the department’s research is to understand the role of mobility and migration in the contemporary world and to describe and theorise how identities, practices, discourses, institutions, and places are formed and transformed as a function of movement through space and time. To research mobility and migration, department scholars build upon and critically engage with concepts such as transnationalism, the state, displacement, diaspora, integration, subjectivity, loss and trauma, and the migration regime.

Empirically, the department’s researchers study a complex of issues pertaining to mobility and migration, mostly linked to, but not limited to, the Central and Eastern European region. Our methodology relies on ethnographic fieldwork. The production of knowledge depends on close relations with research participants and profound context-sensitive engagement with our fields. In addition to participant observation and ethnographic interviews, we use other methods, such as focus groups and discourse analysis, to gather and interpret research data. Research on issues pertaining to mobility and migration is carried out either autonomously or in collaboration with experts in sociology, social geography, philosophy, and political science.

Given the high social relevance of the research carried out in the department and our ethical responsibilities, part of our mission is to disseminate findings outside of the academic community among professionals of various backgrounds as well as the general public. Over the long term, the Department of Mobility and Migration will build and maintain its research capacities to be able to flexibly respond to research demands of the Czech government, municipalities and legislative bodies.


Current and future research foci:

  • State-controlled immigration of ethnic Czechs from Ukraine and Russia (post-WWII, post-1989, post-2014): adaptation and integration, health and healing in migration, lifestyles.
  • War refugees in East Central Europe: xenophobia, politicisation of migration, economic precariousness, street-level bureaucracy, rebuilding of life-worlds, descent into the everyday.
  • Czechs abroad: emigration, return, life-trajectory, state policies vis-à-vis the Czech diaspora.
  • Roma migration from and to the Czech Republic
  • Vietnamese in the Czech Republic: integration vs. diasporisation.